North Shore Urban Agriculture Manager Robyn Burns writes about what land stewardship means to her.
This Tuesday, April 22, organizations everywhere will honor Earth Day. The Food Project will lead volunteer groups on our urban farms, and work together to cultivate and tend urban land previously been left vacant—just like we do throughout the growing season.
As The Food Project’s North Shore Urban Agriculture Manager, I take my role as a steward of the land seriously and believe that growing food in the city benefits our communities in a number of ways.
A series of powerful poems, by members of the North Shore Dirt Crew. The poems featured here were collected after a cultural sharing activity in which Dirt Crew youth were asked to respond to the prompt "Where I'm From."
Massachusetts is about to embark on a food system strategic planning process. This is welcome news as it will make our state among the frontrunners in recognizing and acting on the critical connections between food, municipal priorities, and the health and economic development of local communities.
Food systems planning means that issues around growing, processing, transporting, preparing, buying, and disposing of food are integrated into policies and plans at all levels of government.
Currently, without a larger food systems plan in place, the state’s many local food councils tasked with addressing food policy concerns end up focusing on individual projects and immediate needs.
When you pick up a bundle of our kale at the farmers market, your decision is a culmination of months of work and planning on our farms—planning that begins in late winter, when our farmers decide how much to grow based on where it goes and what to plant based on what people will like.
On the Baker Bridge Farm in Lincoln, it’s time for Head Grower Tim Laird and Field Manager Alex Pogany to draw up field plans.
They start with three big questions. The first: How well can we be stewards of the land? Alex and Tim start by focusing on how much land we can afford to leave uncultivated so we can allow for a healthy rotation cycle that does not tax the soil’s nutrients.
Jared Chase won four raised-beds--to be built by The Food Project youth in his backyard this spring--at our September 2013 Annual Gala auction. Jared recently talked about how he sees his love for gardening, the environment, and meaningful impact intersecting at The Food Project.
Over 22 growing seasons, we have changed and made our communities stronger.
The Food Project’s programs have changed too. We added two programs that increase youth engagement beyond the summer months and we are always creating new learning opportunities.
Now we are writing to tell you of another exciting moment in our youth work.
The Food Project programs have been renamed! They are now:
The DNA of change: explosive potential, strength in diversity; the starting point of growth. Seed Crew is a seven week summer opportunity for youth to grow produce on urban and suburban farms while developing civic engagement and teamwork skills in a diverse setting.